El Camino Real Charter High School
From Stem to Steam
About Us

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At ECRCHS we strive to provide the best possible education to our students. They in turn work hard to achieve at high levels. One of the biggest challenges facing humankind is educating the next generation to lead in a way that will successfully tackle the world’s problems. To this end, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) provides a platform to reach our students and prepare them for the world to come. Along with our focus on sustainability, ECRCHS prepares its students to excel in these fields so they are equipped with the skills needed to make a positive impact in the world. Anne Jolly provides the following criteria for a successful STEM program:

  1. Focus on integrating science, technology, engineering, and math – preferably all four, although true integration of even two would be an acceptable step toward STEM.
  2. Focus on a real-world problem or engineering challenge.
  3. Use inquiry-based, student-centered learning approaches.
  4. Engage students in using an engineering design process that leads to developing a product or process.
  5. Emphasize teamwork and communication.
  6. Build rich content knowledge of science and mathematics.

These criteria help to frame the discussion of what STEM looks like, however, without the “arts,” STEM fails to address integral aesthetic and design aspects of systems. By adding the arts to STEM, we arrive at STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math). Combined, these disciplines create a more integrated vision for the future. Many of our teachers combine various aspects of science, technology, engineering, art, and math throughout their disciplines. This integration serves a number of the goals put forth by Common Core standards, which demand that students collaborate and develop comprehensive solutions.

Resources

Header image from Oregon State University

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